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‘Gerrard has the potential to be Liverpool boss’ – Benitez says Reds legend can be ‘a great manager’

11:49 GMT+3 27/09/2019
Steven Gerrard Rangers
The former Anfield coach believes a man who once captained his team to Champions League glory could return to Merseyside at some stage in the future

Steven Gerrard has the potential to be Liverpool boss one day, says Rafa Benitez, with a man currently in charge of Rangers being backed to become “a great manager”.

The former England captain has already cemented a standing as an all-time great as a player, with an iconic spell at Anfield making him a firm fan favourite.

It is expected that the 39-year-old will return to his roots at some stage, with Jurgen Klopp having already talked up Gerrard as his obvious successor.

Benitez is another who feels that the ex-Reds skipper could thrive if heading back home, with a spell in a demanding post at Ibrox proving that he can handle the pressure and deliver results.

The former Liverpool boss, who saw Gerrard skipper his side to Champions League glory in 2005, told The Athletic when quizzed on the claims of a Reds legend to a coaching post in familiar surroundings: “I think he has the potential to be a good manager.

“As he said in one interview, he was lucky enough to have different managers and from different countries, which is always good for your development.

“I think he can be a great manager, he is already doing well, but only time will say how good he will be.”

Gerrard has made no secret of the fact that he would relish the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Benitez and Klopp if given the chance.

He is, however, a long way behind that pair when it comes to coaching experience.

Spanish tactician Benitez has worked at the very top of the game, with spells at the likes of Valencia, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Inter and Newcastle complementing a successful stint at Liverpool.

He has worked with and against some of the world’s top talent, with the 59-year-old conceding that he has faced tough challenges wherever he has been.

A man now in charge of Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang said when asked to pick out his most testing opponents: “In Spain, when I was at Valencia, it would have been Real Madrid with Vicente Del Bosque because they had a very good team.

“In England, at the beginning it was Chelsea under [Jose] Mourinho, they were a really good team and I was pleased we were competing with them and even beating them in the Champions League.

“Obviously always Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson, they were very strong at this time.

“In Italy, Juventus under [Antonio] Conte and [Massimiliano] Allegri.

“In England afterwards, it would be Liverpool and Manchester City under Klopp and [Pep] Guardiola.”